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Sirius Bows Real-Time Traffic, Plug-And-Play Receivers

Along with the debut of its first wearable device (see story p. 6), Sirius Satellite Radio announced a November launch date for its long-awaited real-time traffic service and debuted two new downsized plug-and-play receivers.

Sirius said Alpine will supply the first hardware module for Sirius real-time traffic service, to be available in 22 major metropolitan U.S. markets. The Alpine SiriusConnect SIR-ALP10T will be offered as an option for Alpine’s NVE-N872A navigation system, which also works with XM’s NavTraffic system. The Alpine SiriusConnect tuner will support both Sirius music and data and can simultaneously receive and play Sirius radio programming while monitoring traffic messages.

Under the Sirius real-time traffic system, traffic information is updated every few minutes. Icons indicating traffic incidents and traffic speed-flow appear on the user’s route map. Sirius will allow other data services, such as weather, to be seamlessly added in the future, said the company.

Sirius’ rival, XM launched its NavTraffic service in the fall of 2004.

The suggested retail price for the SiriusConnect SIR-ALP10T tuner is $299.99, and the Alpine NVE-N872A Satellite Traffic Ready navigation system is $1,700 (navigation monitor sold separately).

The 22 metro areas covered by the new Sirius traffic service are Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami/Fort Lauderdale; Minneapolis/St. Paul; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; San Francisco/Oakland; San Diego; San Jose, Calif.; Seattle; St. Louis; Tampa, Fla.; and Washington. Sirius expects to expand the service to over 50 cities by 2007.

In new plug-and-play receivers, Sirius announced it will debut in October the Starmate Replay with a five-line screen and 44-minute replay capability, allowing users to pause, rewind and fast forward through prerecorded programming. The new unit measures 5 inches by 1.9 inches and is 0.8 inches thick, and weighs 3.9 ounces. It also has alerts for favorite song or artist, or when a favorite team begins a game, or when the score changes. It also lists the user’s favorite team scores on the screen.

The Starmate Replay comes with all accessories for the car at $129.99 suggested retail price. An optional home kit will be available for $39.99, and a custom installation kit for permanent installation will also be available.

Also new is the Sirius One receiver, which measures 2.8 inches by 4.5 inches; it has a reversible display so the unit may be mounted on the visor, dash, windshield or instrument panel. It will have a suggested retail price of $79.99, including a remote control and low profile antenna.